First Bull Run Incidents of First Bull Run: As told by Sidney Herbert, Aide to Gen. Daniel P. Tyler IV

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lelliott19

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"And now after forty-three years, I look back upon those bloody scenes at Bull Run and wonder that the Confederates I fought against there have been my most intimate friends for thirty years. Gen Longstreet, whose artillery wounded me for life at Blackburn's Ford; Col. W. P. Price, of Dahlonega [GA], who shot my horse from under me at Bull Run, when I was unable to walk; Col. Estill and poor Johnny Griffin, my escaped prisoners; all have been, and the living still are, my friends."

At the First Battle of Bull Run, Sidney Herbert was serving as an aide to Brig General Daniel P. Tyler IV with the rank of Captain of Cavalry. Forty-three years later, in July 1904, from his home in Maitland, Florida, Herbert wrote a few recollections of the Battle of Bull Run which were published in the The Savannah Morning News. His reminiscences include accounts of his encounters with Union officers, Confederate officers, and enlisted men who went on to become officers and friends.

Despite my wounds and inability to walk, I persisted in being put on my horse Sunday morning, July 21 [1861] at sunrise and allowed to go with Gen Tyler into the battle of First Bull Run, or Manassas. We were however halted before we reached the field and delayed some time in going into the fight. Lieut. Upton (later General) and myself headed the division, as aides to the division commander. After crossing a little stream, we mounted a very steep ridge, so steep I had to hang on my horse's neck to keep in the saddle. At the top we saw directly beneath us an open field, but on the left, up near a house was an active battery, while on the right, in the woods were infantry.​
Upton wanted to order the division to enter the field there, but I protested that a fire on each flank would demoralize the new troops. He finally ordered only one brigade (Sherman's) to make the charge, and just then he was wounded in the arm and retired. I at once ordered Keye's brigade to make a detour under cover of the ridge and come on to the field from the extreme right. Sherman's brigade was badly broken up and suffered great loss, but Keye's brigade held together to the end. <To be continued; additional segments to be added in subsequent posts.>​
Source: The Savannah Morning News. (Savannah, Ga.), July 21, 1904, page 9.
 
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lelliott19

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"In my feeble condition I had considerable trouble in following our troops, the ridge being rough as well as steep, and I did not overtake them until after my horse had been shot from under me while crossing the stream on the right of the battlefield. With great difficulty and much pain, however, I succeeded in making my way to where our division (except Sherman's brigade) had been engaged.​
"And there found Lieut. Col. Wm. Montgomery Gardner of the Eighth Georgia, and other wounded Confederates, who were placed in my charge, as I was unable to continue active service, my horse being killed. Col. Gardner was severely wounded and there seemed little hope of his surviving, but I did everything I could for his comfort, and when the retreat started, he begged of me to remain with him, and assured me of kind treatment. But I could not, and he handed me his sash as a memento of his gratitude. He had been a hero in the Mexican War and a popular officer in the regular army.​
"Among the wounded prisoners was a tall, soldierly looking fellow, in his shirt sleeves, I think, who was wounded in the arm. But he and a little red-headed, short legged fellow made their escape. After the war I met up with them -- they were John H. Estill and John J. Griffin.... <both leading citizens of Savannah; Estill was Captain in the 1st GA Infantry USV during the Spanish American War.>​
"....I remember well at Bull Run how my sympathy went out to Col. Gardner and Private Estill, the former as I then thought, mortally wounded. I had him placed in a shady spot and our surgeon and assistant surgeon gave prompt attention to his wounds. Estill's arm was bleeding badly and I also gave prompt attention to him. It was a hot sunshiny day and I had blankets hung up to keep the scorching rays of the sun from both of them, and for this and my other kind attentions, they expressed the most sincere gratitude.​
"...Col Gardner and I met but once after the war, but our meeting was a tearful and tender one."​
 
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